Rugby fans from around the globe attending the Rugby World Cup in France have been left frustrated and parched as the tournament grapples with beer and water shortages. Unseasonably scorching temperatures reaching up to 37 degrees Celsius have exacerbated the need for hydration among spectators.
The situation has been particularly dire in the southern city of Bordeaux, which hosted initial matches for both Wales and Ireland. During the Ireland vs. Romania match on Saturday, midway through the second half, taps at the Stade de Bordeaux appeared to run dry, while long queues continued to snake around stadium bars, leaving fans parched and disgruntled.
One Welsh supporter who attended both matches in Bordeaux shared his ordeal, recounting how he missed the first half of the Ireland game due to spending an exorbitant amount of time in the water queue. Former Irish rugby player Robin Copeland took to social media, specifically X (formerly known as Twitter), to issue a warning to Welsh fans ahead of Wales’ clash with Fiji on Sunday. In his tweet, Copeland wrote, “Note to any Welsh fans traveling for the game tomorrow… Stade is massively underprepared. Get your drinks and food before the game and don’t bank on getting anything during; you will miss the entire thing. Queues horrendous and they ran out of beer and water… in 37 degrees.”
The scarcity of beverages and the long queues have incited a backlash from disgruntled fans. Rugby World Cup organizers have been compelled to address the issue of beer shortages during the tournament’s early matches, attributing the problem to an “unprecedented” heatwave that swept across France over the weekend.
Initially, the tournament’s director, Michael Poussau, along with France 2023 chairman Jacques Rivoal and France 2023 CEO Julien Collette, appeared to deny any beer shortage, only to backtrack and acknowledge the problem while pledging to investigate further. Poussau remarked, “We know there was no beer shortage. There was no lack of beer. It was a series of unfortunate difficulties. We are going to be working with France 2023, the venues, and our partners, who have done an amazing job helping us address these challenges, to improve the situation.”
As the Rugby World Cup continues, fans will be hoping for swift and effective measures to ensure that both beer and water shortages are rectified, allowing them to fully enjoy the matches without disruptions.